The Oak Ridge Fire Department will visit all the elementary and middle schools as well as many day cares during the next few weeks to talk to children about home fire escape plans.
It’s part of the department’s activities during national Fire Prevention Month, Oak Ridge Assistant Fire Chief Josh Waldo said in a press release.
The national fire prevention theme this year is “Have 2 Ways Out.” The release said children will be bringing home information to review with their parents to make sure that they have working smoke alarms, emergency exit plans, two ways out of their homes during a fire, and a safe meeting place.
“It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm in your home sounds,” the release said. “What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That’s why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan.”
The press release said Tennessee routinely ranks in the Top 5 nationally in deaths from residential fires, and the lack of smoke detectors and home exit plans are contributing factors.
“So, ensuring that every home has working smoke alarms, two ways out, and a safe meeting place is the goal of the Oak Ridge Fire Department,” the release said.
It said October is national fire prevention month, and the Oak Ridge Fire Department is starting their annual educational programs this week.
The release said Fire Prevention Month was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on Oct. 8, 1871, but did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871.
“According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow—belonging to Mrs. Catherine O’Leary—kicked over a lamp, setting first the barn, then the whole city on fire,” the release said. “Chances are you’ve heard some version of this story yourself. People have been blaming the Great Chicago Fire on the cow, and Mrs. O’Leary, for more than 130 years.”
For more information about fire prevention activities and recommendations, residents should contact Waldo at (865) 425-3525.